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Falling light fixtures issue Thanks to an alert, observant, caring and brave person who became aware of an extremely unsafe issue at D-96, some construction methods are being redone. The person observed a light fixture that had come detached from an acoustical ceiling panel. It dropped until its power supply drew taught. Fortunately it did not hit anyone or cause an electrical short or fire. Images were captured and preserved. During ensuing days action was asked for and more facts were discovered. The district provided a letter to parents but few hard facts. Much of what was provided turned out to be false or misleading. The staff acknowledged that the installation was not proper. Then they set out to inspect, remove and re-install the fixtures but were not willing to listen to outsiders. A formal information request was put off. Some action was taken but the factual report alluded to was not shared with the public. A formal demand under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act has not been complied with as of this writing. One week later the manufacturer, of the panel to which the fixture was attached, provided timely and factual information directly to Superintendent Lamberson. The response confirms that the installation was in error. It also provides information critical of the planned re-installation. The panel manufacturer expedited his recommendation to Dr. Lamberson as he proceeded with whatever was done to cause him to rapidly re open the gym. We should demand more information to ensure the safety of the users, visitors and custodians of our gyms or any other areas at risk due to such a faulty method of installation.


Falling light fixtures issue


Falling light fixtures issue From: Leslie Berman <bermanl@district96.org>; To: Subject: Message from the Superintendent - gym update Sent: Wed, Mar 13, 2013 3:36:25 PM

3/13/13

To Hauser Parents: Yesterday, workers inspected every light fixture in Hauser's large gym. Though all fixtures were firmly attached to the ceiling - not one fixture was loose or wobbly - the electricians re-supported every light fixture with additional anchors. The work was completed by 2:30 PM. I reopened the gymnasium upon confirmation from Meany Electric, AMSCO and D96's architect that all fixtures had been inspected and re-supported. Please don't hesitate to contact me or Ms. Berman if you have any questions. Serving Riverside D96 Students, Dr. Lamberson

Leslie C. Berman, Principal Hauser Junior High School 65 Woodside Road Riverside, IL 60546 Phone: 708-447-3896 Fax: 708-447-5180 bermanl@district96.org


Falling light fixtures issue From: JrryBttmr@aol.com To: lambersonj@district96.org CC: meindlm@distrcit96.org Sent: 3/13/2013 10:19:09 A.M. Central Daylight Time Subj: Re: Request for information Thanks Jon, correct me if I'm wrong but FOIA allows up to 5 days but does not require you to take 5 days. This is a very serious issue and needs to be aired now. Also please reply with expected date for my review and an explanation of the fire departments call to Hauser yesterday . Jerry

In a message dated 3/13/2013 10:15:48 A.M. Central Daylight Time, lambersonj@district96.org writes: This request falls under FOIA provisions. Dr. Lamberson

From: bermanl@district96.org To: jrrybttmr@aol.com Sent: 3/12/2013 8:02:19 P.M. Central Daylight Time Subj: Hauser lights Mr. Buttimer, I received a message from you yesterday regarding the lights in the Hauser gym. I am responding to parent inquiries and Dr. Lamberson is responding to community inquiries. As you do not have a child at Hauser, I'd like to refer you directly to Dr. Lamberson: lambersonj@district96.org. Thank you for your interest. Leslie C. Berman, Principal Hauser Junior High School


Falling light fixtures issue 65 Woodside Road Riverside, IL 60546 Phone: 708-447-3896 Fax: 708-447-5180 bermanl@district96.org

On Mar 11, 2013, at 4:30 PM, JrryBttmr@aol.com wrote Jon, Thanks for closing the gym until it can be made safe. Please send me the spec sheet for the existing Tectum, Inc acoustical ceiling panel and the light fixture. Also please send the architect's drawing and specs regarding the installation and the proposed re installation together with any Meany, Inc. shop drawings of same, for: ď&#x201A;ˇ ď&#x201A;ˇ

D96 gyms and Blythe Park School

I would be happy to pick this up as soon as possible and prefer it to be a simple request. Otherwise consider it a formal FOIA request under the Illinois act. Jerry 708.218.4692


Falling light fixtures issue From: Leslie Berman <bermanl@district96.org> Sent: Mon, March 11, 2013 2:05:02 PM Subject: Message from the superintendent regarding Hauser gym repairs

3/11/13 To Hauser Parents: Hauser's large gym is closed for inspection, removal and reattachment of new light fixtures to existing Tectum ceiling panels. On Friday, a light fixture became detached from its mounting; the fixture was removed from the ceiling by D96 maintenance staff. Comparable removal and reattachment of light fixtures using toggle bolts are NOT required in other D96 gymnasiums that were renovated this past summer. Hauser's

large gym is the ONLY location where light fixtures were attached to Tectum panels. Light fixtures in Hauser's small gym and Ames' gymnasium were bolted to steel girders. At Central, light fixtures were attached directly to laminated wood beams. Even though light fixtures were not mounted to Tectum panels at Ames, Central or Hauser' small gym, I have directed D96's architect, Concept 3, our

engineering firm, AMSCO, and Meany Electric to reinspect the installation of these light fixtures and provide a written report to me. This week Meany Electric - summer 2012 electrical contractor - will begin the process of securing the lighting fixtures in Hauser's large gym with toggle bolts rather than the commonly used current installation of four wood screws. We will contact outside groups currently scheduled in Hauser's large gymnasium that availability will be interrupted until all light fixtures are removed and reinstalled. I appreciate the flexibility of our students, teachers, support staff, administration and community. Please don't hesitate to contact me or Ms. Berman if you have questions.


Falling light fixtures issue Serving Riverside D96 Students, Dr. Lamberson

Leslie C. Berman, Principal Hauser Junior High School 65 Woodside Road Riverside, IL 60546 Phone: 708-447-3896 Fax: 708-447-5180 bermanl@district96.org


Falling light fixtures issue From: JrryBttmr@aol.com To: mary.meindl@district96.org CC: lambersonj@district96.org Sent: 3/9/2013 7:22:33 P.M. Central Daylight Time Subj: Re: Urgent safety issue Thanks Mary Ellen, and what happened and how has it been corrected? What else needs to be done? Please feel free to jump right in Jon. Jerry

In a message dated 3/9/2013 2:30:34 P.M. Central Standard Time, mary.meindl@district96.org writes: Jerry, Dr. Lamberson and his staff responded to the situation immediately yesterday and are investigating and the Board was apprised of the situation this morning. Thank you for your concern. Mary Ellen Meindl Sent from my iPad


Falling light fixtures issue On Mar 8, 2013, at 8:51 PM, JrryBttmr@aol.com wrote:

Mary Ellen & Jon, I received alarming news tonight. Hauser Gym: an 8 foot long ceiling mounted light fixture weighing approximately 45 lbs released from the ceiling in the gym and dropped. It was tethered by its power source. This is alarming since they were recently installed and could have caused serious injury or worse. I do not know what activities, if any, are scheduled over the weekend but suggest that the room be locked down until proven safe. Any other location with similar fixture and installation should be treated similarly. Mary Ellen, since I do not have any contact information for Jon I am going to contact you at your home. I'd also be happy to assist and help you find the root cause of the mechanical failure that allowed this to happen. Sincerely, Jerry Buttimer 708.218.4692


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